One of the things I see being floated around the blogosphere is how woefully unprepared for an avian flu outbreak the country (and the world) are. Hmm - The last time we had a real pandemic was 1918.
What was going on then? Well, Europe was engulfed in WWI. China was slowly crumbling into anarchy at the tail end of the period of European incursions. India was still a British colony, and had far less infrastructure than it has now. Southeast Asia outside of China? A complete backwater, with virtually no infrastructure. The state of medicine was primitive in comparison - there were no flue vaccines, period.
And yet, in the midst of the disaster that was WWI, the flu spread across the world - yes, killing millions - but without significant upheavel in areas that weren't already in upheavel (like, say, the Western Front in France). There weren't riots in London, or in Washington, or in New York. People dealt with the problem.
So to all those who are preaching fear and gloom? Grab yourselves a cup of historical perspective and calm the heck down.